FILM REVIEW: THINGS TO COME (L’AVENIR)

  Just like starting over. That’s the name of a John Lennon song but it’s also a line that could be used to sum up the French film, Things To Come (L’avenir). The story is a subtle character study about a middle-aged woman and how she negotiates a bunch of set-backs with a kind of…

FILM REVIEW: SOPHIE & THE RISING SUN

  Before there was Loving there was Sophie & The Rising Sun (well, sort of). Sophie & The Rising Sun is a romantic story and like Loving it is one that’s all about a bi-racial couple. The film is ultimately a beautiful but fictional love story where you can really sit back, relax and get…

BOOK REVIEW: MESHEL LAURIE – BUDDHISM FOR BREAK-UPS

  There are many people who ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” but in the case of Meshel Laurie, it was, “What would Buddha do?” The Australian writer, comedian and radio personality was looking towards her Buddhist faith as a way of making sense of the end of her 19 year marriage. Except that there…

BOOK REVIEW: J.C. GREY – LOST GIRL

  Lost Girl is like a gift wrapped up in an enigma, topped off by a riddle. The novel is a wistful romance by J.C. Grey. It is a first person narrative where the titular character is the narrator. What ensues is a dark and mysterious novel filled with love, loss and heartbreak. To outsiders,…

BOOK REVIEW: BEATRICE COLIN – TO CAPTURE WHAT WE CANNOT KEEP

  If you’re looking for a wonderful romance novel to consume on Valentine’s Day then To Capture What We Cannot Keep is a worthy candidate. This historic fiction book by Beatrice Colin is a good, old-fashioned love story set in the 19th century in Paris after building has commenced on the Eiffel Tower. Some of…

BOOK REVIEW: NADIA MARKS – AMONG THE LEMON TREES

  Love is a wonderful thing. We all want to experience it. Many musicians, artists and writers have used it as inspiration, but it was perhaps Darren Hanlon who put it best when he sang, “Love is just a lazy generalisation that we use for a hundred different feelings and as many situations.” Journalist and author,…

BOOK REVIEW: BRIAN WILSON & BEN GREENMAN – I AM BRIAN WILSON

God only knows where pop music would be without Brian Wilson. The genius writer of many of The Beach Boys greatest hits has had a profound effect on popular culture. I Am Brian Wilson (his second autobiography; his first was published in the nineties) is a complex and forthright account of his life in music….

BOOK REVIEW: KARLY LANE – THIRD TIME LUCKY

  Karly Lane’s book, Third Time Lucky is a lovely adaptation of a Christmas novella. It’s a story that translates well to the longer format but it’s also one that is difficult to write about without revealing some crucial plot points. It is perhaps best if we consider that this is a rural romance that…

BOOK REVIEW: JEANETTE WINTERSON – CHRISTMAS DAYS

  Joy to the world, Christmas Days is a collection of twelve short stories and other tid-bits that celebrate the festive season. The book is written by Jeanette Winterson (Why be Happy When You Could be Normal?) an author who by her own admission loves Christmas and this could be due to the fact that…

FILM REVIEW: A UNITED KINGDOM

  A United Kingdom could be renamed “Politics and Prejudice.” This film tells the extraordinary true story of when Seretse Khama, the King of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), fell in love with and married a determined English woman named Ruth Williams. This film stars David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as the two lovers…

BOOK REVIEW: ANNA ROMER – BEYOND THE ORCHARD

  Beyond the Orchard is an Australian saga spanning multiple years, taking in different generations and perspectives. It seems to have a lot in common with the late Bryce Courtenay’s work insofar as it’s an epic slice of Australiana. The book is the third novel by Anna Romer (Thornwood House) and a rich and detailed…